Attention! Osprey Kyte 36 is revised in 2019!
So this makes THREE Kyte 36 backpacks in the market as of today:
I know you wonder whether the new 2019 model worth going over the 2016?
If you'd like a slightly larger pack, check out my review for Osprey Kyte 46 which is also updated in 2019.
The short answer is: Yes it does.
Now for the longer answer... Let's see what's new in 2019.
I contacted Osprey Customer Service myself to get the answer, and here's what they told me:
- Front pouch is more adjustable now
- Mesh water bottle holders at each side are now also accessible while wearing the pack! I had considered this one of the main downsides of the 2016 model, so it's a great advantage!
- More comfort is offered by more generous padding in hip belt and shoulder straps
- Airscape back panel is upgraded - more ventilation is offered (also more comfort)
- Larger hip belt pockets - which can fit in even very large smartphones (2016 model can't)
- Superior external gear capability since the lash tabs are larger
- Better buckle construction - critical for the life of pack
- Appearance and colors. The famous Purple Calla color is gone! And instead, now they offer Kyte's in Ice Lake Green - which I think looks VERY pretty!
- Weight and dimensions. There is a very slight (not noticeable) difference in weight - 2019 Kyte 36 is less than 0.1 lbs lighter than the 2016 model.
Here's the screenshot of the convo if you're interested in that:
So there you have the longer answer...
Bold are my top picks for each group (based on trip length).
If you're planning to get either one of them, I'd also highly recommend you to check out Osprey's own PackFinder tool as well.
To see the full table and my top picks, visit my post Best Osprey Hiking Backpacks.
Rotate your phone sideways for a better table display.
Features & Organization
Weight (M Size)
Trip Length: 7+ nights [>90 L]
Trip Length: 5-7 nights [75 - 90 L]
Trip Length: 2-5 nights [55 - 75 L]
Sweet spot. Versatile picks.
Trip Length: 1-3 nights [45 - 55 L]
Trip Length: 0-1 nights [<45 L]
If you tend to pack more or less than the average person, then shift the trip lengths accordingly.
To me, it does worth going for the newer version mainly because of these 5 things:
- It's more comfortable
- More ventilated
- Larger & easier to use front & hip belt pockets
- Prettier design & colors (at least to me!)
- More durable buckles
I don't really care about the other subtle changes/updates like dimensions, weight and lash tabs... They already worked pretty well with the 2016 model.
- Breathable AirScape ridged foam backpanel with...
- Integrated removable raincover
- Zippered sleeping bag compartment with floating...
- Front panel hybrid shove-it pocket
- Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment
Osprey Kyte 36 | Price not available is a women's lightweight multi-functional backpack. Although it's more on the travel/day hike side on the fence because of its simplicity, it performs just as well during a variety of short to medium period outdoor activities.
We've been buying backpacks online for years and never had any problems. Before you buy, do make sure to check the seller's return policy, but you can almost always return an unused pack within a certain time frame and you're good. If it doesn't fit quite right after trying it on at home, you can always return!
Osprey's packs are also super durable - but it's an extra relief to know that Osprey's All Mighty Guarantee has got your back just in case.
If you're looking for a smaller size, very comfortable, more carry-on compatible backpack which you'd use also for travelling as much as some outdoor activities, Kyte 36 can be one of your best bets out there.
Very comfortable as it fits perfectly because of adjustable harness, generous padding, thick straps and hip belt and two size options,
Side access to main compartment,
Inadequate volume for 3+ days of outdoor activities,
No zippered front or side pockets
Those who are looking for a very simple, more carry-on friendly pack that will be used mostly for short outdoor activities and travelling
Osprey Kyte 36
Main compartment and sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider
4 zippered 3 unenclosed pockets
4 at sides (that can be leveraged for front compression as well),
Osprey Kyte 36
Dimensions: 25H X 12W X 12D IN
Weight: 3.09 lbs
Dimensions: 27H X 12W X 12D IN
Weight: 3.2 lbs
#Note: As you see, dimensions and volume don't add up. See our post Dimensional Inconsistencies of Osprey Backpacks to learn more.
See men's counterpart Osprey Kestrel 38 (2019 model) | $159.95
Osprey Kestrel and Kyte Series are introduced as climbing, mountaineering and hiking backpacks for short to medium lengths.
Kestrel is the men's counterpart to women's Kyte Series.
There are Kyte backpacks with 36, 46 and 66 liters of volumes with Osprey Kyte 66 being available in select non-US markets only.
Osprey Kyte 36 is meant to fit to a woman's body. All the angles, curves, thicknesses, length, tapers etc of straps, belt, load lifters and overall backpanel are intended to fulfill that specific fit.
Apart from the overall fit in terms of female anatomy, you can adjust the harness further for customized fit for your torso length.
First, you choose the right size for you.
Two sizes are available: WXS/S and WS/M (W stands for women). They're meant to correspond to your torso length. I'll mention how to choose the right size for your height later in Size, Volume, Weight and Dimensions section.
Second, you move the adjustable harness up and down as you see in below video, and have the pack fit your specific torso.
I honestly can't recommend getting a pack with adjustable harness enough. Even a slightest uncomfort while wearing the pack will feel 100x worse at the end of the day.
That's why it increases the uses of the backpack enormously by allowing you walk much longer distances while staying very comfortable.
Osprey Kyte Series are equipped with AirScape suspension system which is one of the latest technologies of Osprey.
The lightweight structure of AirScape suspension consists of an aluminum peripheral frame with a foam framesheet.
First purpose of this structure is to ensure the optimal weight distribution. As Wildbackpacker explained , optimal weight distribution is achieved by conveying the majority of the weight to your hips rather than your torso.
Because, as Library of Congress stated in 2017 , hip muscles (gluteus) are the largest muscles in the human body .
Its second purpose of the structure is to deliver stability by pulling the pack weight very close to your back and prevent the pack from wobbling.
Besides weight distribution, AirScape technology provides plenty of ventilation and comfort through its design.
Ultimately, you're kept more comfortable, less exhausted and less sweaty.
Shoulder straps are thick and well padded.
Inner seams are extended not only to the sides but also the outer surface of the straps (shown in blue boxes below).
This way it's guaranteed that the straps won't be chafing your shoulders in any motion.
Also, like I mentioned before, harness is fully adjustable:
Load lifters are attached to the pack at the perfect height to meet the ideal 45-60 degree angle .
In addition, an emergency whistle is built-in the sternum strap buckle.
Pockets: There are 2 hip belt pockets on each side
Smaller women specific belt ensure the seamless fit and comfort.
Just like straps, hip belt is adjustable as well.
Pockets: No internal pocket
Osprey Kyte 36 is an internal frame, traditional top loading backpack.
Top opening is very wide:
The most popular feature of this pack is the full length side access to the main and sleeping bag compartments.
We all know the struggle when we need an item inside the center of the backpack.
Sometimes, our accesses from top and bottom don't help us much. So we're made to unpack, get the item, and repack.
And most of the time - regardless of wherever you are and whatever you're doing - it's inconvenient because of obvious reasons.
Osprey Kyte 36 solves this problem by adding a side access to inner compartments - and ultimately make your entire equipment easily accessible.
Sleeping bag compartment
Pockets: No internal pocket
As usual, sleeping bag compartment is at the bottom of the pack.
It's separated from the main compartment with a removable divider. Removing the divider and merging two compartments help when you're planning to carry long and bulky items such as tent poles.
Its volume is larger than regular size sleeping bags, so you can store additional items nearby when the divider isn't removed.
You can also remove the straps:
Pockets: 1 external, 1 internal pocket
Top lid isn't floating type. It means that you can't shift it up or down according to your preference. Also you can't remove it.
Honestly, since Kyte 36 is small-to-medium size and quite light, I think floating top lid would be a waste. Upon a few compression strap adjustments you can even use it as a daypack.
As for the pockets, the external zippered pocket is larger and opens to the backside:
A smaller mesh pocket emerges beneath the lid when it's lifted:
Pockets: 1 mesh pouch
My biggest gripe with this pack is the lack of a side/front zippered pocket.
The mesh pouch is very suitable for wet, smelly and dirty items although it'd make more sense having a zippered pocket to have some specific items more readily available.
It's also common to carry maps, journals or books inside these pouches.
Pockets: 2 mesh water bottle holders
As I mentioned earlier in the storage section, there is a side access to the main compartment.
Other than that there are two mesh water bottle holders at each side at the bottom.
As you can see the vertical installment option is lacking - as it's the case with all Kestrel/Kyte products. Water bottle holders are too high to access while you're wearing the pack so you're going to have to take off the pack first.
Dual upper and lower side compression straps are available.
Using compression straps, you can:
1. Compress the load and obtain more stability. You can do this width-wise or depth-wise since the compression straps are reversible:
2. Collaborate them with mesh water bottle holders and utilize them to attach extra gear outside the pack:
3. Shrink the pack to smaller sizes to use as a daypack.
Size, Volume, Weight and Dimensions
Kyte 36 is available in WXS/S and WS/M size options:
Kyte 36 XS/S
25h x 12w x 12d
Kyte 36 S/M
27h x 12w x 12d
Besides traveling, Kyte 36 is designed to cover lots of outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping, day hikes, climbing and mountaineering all together, hence the superior tool attachment capability.
The only activity I wouldn't feel confident with this pack would probably be going on hiking/camping trips that last longer than nearly 3 days, but that's just because of its volume.
That means if you're an essentialist and 34-36 liters of volume would perfectly suffice, you have nothing else to worry.
You can determine your size using Osprey’s very own Size & Fit article .
I'm embedding the chart below as well in case you already know your torso length.
Once you evaluate your torso length you can find Kyte Series at 9th row.
Although I recommend evaluating your torso length, here is a rule of thumb.
McGill explained that  on average, a 5'2" woman will have 15" of torso and a 5'6" woman will have 17" of torso.
If both sizes are compatible with your torso length I recommend getting the larger pack.
You should check the regulation of your specific airlines as there is no federal standardization.
TravelMadeSimple listed carry on rules of 170+ airlines. It's best to check the carry-on rules of the airlines that you're likely to use often.
Although I've never had any problems with their packs, it's good to know that Osprey offers offers All Mighty Guarantee.
A raincover is attached at the bottom of Kyte 36. It's included in the sale.
Like I said, Osprey Kyte 36 is a do-it-all backpack.
When it's warm, highly ventilated backpanel keeps you cool.
When it's rainy or snowy, your backpack and items are kept dry through raincover.
What's more, if you're not going to need it, you can always detach it easily.
Hydration bladder doesn't come with the pack - but the pouch.
Unlike some packs, Kyte 36 offers it externally at the back panel behind the top of shoulder straps.
#Note: The video belongs to the previous model of Kestrel 48. I'm embedding this video since the hydration pouches are identical.
There are multiple advantages of external hydration systems:
- You don't have to unpack when you're going to refill.
- Your equipment is protected from spillings.
- When the pack is full up to the brim, water flow won't be restrained since the tubes and bladder outside the pack aren't affected from push.
Total of 10 Gear Loops:
Ice tool loops
You can attach your ice tools as illustrated below.
Trekking pole attachments
As the name implies, you can stow your trekking poles through "stow-on-the-go" attachments without having to take off the pack.
Sleeping pad straps
See the Storage section above.
See the Storage section above.
As Hawbaker demonstrated in 2015, daisy chains can be utilized to attach extra gear.
Except 3+ days of hiking/camping trips, this pack performs very well during almost anything because of its high tool attachment capability, weather adaptability, exceptional comfort and decent stability.
Current 2019 model (recommended):
Previous 2016 model:
- Suspension Technology, Osprey. Retrieved from https://www.osprey.com/sa/en/pack-design-technology/suspension
- Contributors of Wildbackpacker.com. How to Pack a Backpack. Retrieved from http://www.wildbackpacker.com/backpacking-gear/backpacks/how-to-pack-a-backpack/
- Library of Congress. Muscles. Retrieved from https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/muscles.html
- The Magazine of Wilderness Travel, Backpacker. 1989, March. Pack Strap Anatomy, p.31. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.tr/books?id=7-IDAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Osprey. Size & Fit. Retrieved from https://www.osprey.com/ca/en/fitting-learning/size-fit
- McGill, L. How to Tell if I Have a Long or Short Torso, Healthfully.com. Retrieved from https://healthfully.com/tell-long-short-torso-8251478.html
- Traveling Light, REI. Retrieved from https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/traveling-light.html
- Carry-on Size Chart, 170+ Airlines, Travel-made-simple.com. Retrieved from https://travel-made-simple.com/carry-on-size-chart/
- Osprey: All Might Guarantee. Retrieved from https://www.osprey.com/cl/en/customer-support/all-mighty-guarantee
- Hawbaker, A. (2015, July). TrailTime Tips: Daisy Chain Quick Ties. Retrieved from https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacks-adjusting-fit.html
- Osprey Europe Women's Hiking Backpacks: Kyte 36. Retrieved from https://www.ospreyeurope.com/shop/eu_en/kyte-36-a
- Osprey US Women's Backpacking Backpacks: Kyte 36. Retrieved from https://www.osprey.com/us/en/product/kyte-36-KYTE36.html
- Osprey Kestrel/Kyte Series Manual. Retrieved from https://www.osprey.com/user_manuals/OM_KestrelKyte_S16_ENG.pdf